The scales of justice in a library

Reimagining Crime and Punishment in India

Our previous primer on ‘Reimagining Crime & Punishment in India’ explored India’s view on crime, punishment, and its expectations from criminal laws. We found that criminal provisions are routinely used to ensure social and regulatory compliance.  We also saw rampant arbitrariness and inconsistency in the prescription of punishments. This has led to a massive problem of excessive and indiscriminate criminalisation. 

In this primer, we attempt to understand the different mechanisms that can be used to check overcriminalisation and guide the prescription of punishment. We document how diverse countries approach the following broad questions and what creative solutions they have found:

A. What to criminalise?
B. How to arrive at the nature of punishment for a particular crime? 
C. How to determine the quantum of punishment for a particular crime?

Filed Under